What is HKserv.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the HKserv.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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HKserv.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with HKserv
HKserv.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as HotKey Server or Hot Key Server EXE belongs to software HotKey Utility or Hot Key Server executable file or HotKey Server by Sony (

Description: HKserv.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. HKserv.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" (e.g. C:\Program Files\Sony\HotKey Utility\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 98,304 bytes (27% of all occurrences), 122,880 bytes and 7 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The program is not visible. It is a file with no information about its developer. Therefore the technical security rating is 52% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you still experience problems with HKserv.exe, you can uninstall HotKey Utility software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

Recommended: Identify HKserv.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as HKserv.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the HKserv.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

Used by sony vaio laptops for the function and p1, p2 keys
Ditto on the Sony Vaio Laptop
Sony Vaio Laptop
Specific Sony Viao Keyboards
The HKServ.exe process is found only on Sony Vaio Notebook computers. It allows various functions to be performed using the Fn key. HkServ.exe is required for the Fn key to work correctly and should not be terminated if you use this function. HKServ.exe uses about 5 MB of memory.
  Junior   (further information)
Sony Vaio Desktop as well
Asus Eee PC

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of HKserv.exe: based on 12 votes with 7 user comments. 10 users think HKserv.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous.

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Best practices for resolving HKserv issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with HKserv. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the HKserv.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

HKserv.exe [all]